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Head of NTIA resigns

Two assistant secretaries at Department of Commerce left on Thursday

The head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, David Redl, resigned abruptly from his position at the Department of Commerce on Thursday.

Assistant Secretary Redl had led NTIA, which advises the president on telecom and information policy and manages federal agencies’ use of spectrum, since being confirmed to the position in November 2017. The agency has been serving a central role in the development of the long-term National Spectrum Policy ordered by President Trump last October.

David Redl

Redl’s role has been filled on an acting basis by Diane Rinaldo, who has been his deputy for the past year and has a background in cybersecurity and technology policy; she is a former staffer with the House Intelligence Committee.

According to published reports, Michael Platt, the assistant secretary of commerce for legislative and intergovernmental affairs, resigned from his position at the Department of Commerce as well.

Redl’s departure prompted well wishes and praise from a number of regulators and telecom organizations which had worked with him.

“David Redl is a longtime colleague, who served with distinction during his 18 months at NTIA,” said Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement, going on to say that Redl “was a vocal advocate within the Department of Commerce for repurposing federal spectrum for commercial use and fostering the private sector’s lead in 5G deployment. I thank David for his service and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

“I commend and thank David Redl for his long career in service to the American people, having had the privilege of working with David both on Capitol Hill and now in our respective roles. While we didn’t always agree, I respect the difficult task he had in managing the unique views of many federal agencies on spectrum policy, and I appreciate his fierce passion and his breadth of knowledge of the issues. I wish him all the best in his next endeavor,” said Federal Communications Commissions Michael O’Rielly in a statement.

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association’s President and CEO Claude Aiken, who was recently appointed to the Commerce Deparment’s Spectrum Advisory Committee, said in a statement that Redl’s work at the Commerce Department “has had a profound and positive effect on the U.S. communications landscape.  He was passionate about getting affordable broadband deployed to all Americans and advancing U.S. leadership in new technologies.  WISPA especially appreciates all that David did with the myriad government stakeholders to help free-up more shared spectrum for commercial use.  These important efforts, we hope, will carry forward at the NTIA.” Aiken said that Redl “brought an intelligent, expert, fair-minded approach to issues before him, and he will be missed.”


Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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